INFORMATION SERIES                          

using polarized lenses
Evidence for a very strong LOW FREQUENCY magnetic field

20190831 updated 20210127

Fran Ridge:
The purpose of this short paper is to describe in detail how Faraday Rings could figure in to UAP sightings, in particular the daytime observations, and what equipment could be of use in that event. Surprisingly, an inexpensive pair of sunglasses with polaroid lenses could be a valuable piece of equipment.

Dr. James Harder:
There are at least two (hypothesese) that have interesting implications for the propulsion problem. First by the Faraday effect, a magnetic field parallel to the path of the light could so rotate the plane of polarization. A quick calculation using the properties of the atmosphere shows that a field of 200,000 gauss, operating over a distance of 130 feet -- 40 meters -- could turn the plane 90 degrees; this is indeed a very intense and extensive magnetic field and, of course, would only account for one ring. Three rings would require a million gauss over the same distance.

Fran Ridge:
The Wells Allen Webb sighting suggests that if MADAR picks up an anomaly in the daytime we should enlist the use of a pair of polaroid sunglasses. This item should be part of a prescribed load list or kit for Rapid Deployment. Items for nighttime alerts would require a different list and are presented elsewhere.

Dr. Harder was perhaps best known as a prominent researcher who has studied the UFO subject for over 50 years, first becoming interested in 1952. He was Director of Research for the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) from 1969-1982. APRO was one of the first civilian organizations to study the UFO phenomenon. When the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics held hearings on UFOs in 1968, he was one of six scientists asked to testify on UFOs before the committee. In a 1998 interview, Harder said the subject was generally treated with disdain by the scientific community, but he was still one of about 300 academics who were investigating the phenomenon.The following portion of Dr. Harder's testimony is very important observational evidence of what MADAR may be detecting.
Dr. Harder:
Fortunately, there has been at least one observation that tends to provide a bit of positive information. Mr. Wells Allen Webb, an applied chemist with a master of science degree from the University of California, was 1 mile north of Spain Flying Field, 7 miles east of Yuma, Ariz., just off U.S. Highway No. 80, when his attention was drawn to the sky to the north by some low-flying jet aircraft. Then he noticed a small white cloud-like object in an otherwise cloudless sky. He watched for about 5 minutes as it traveled eastward; as it reached a spot north-northeast of his location, it abruptly altered shape from being oblong and subtending about half the angle of the full moon -- about 15 minutes of arc -- to be circular and subtending about 5 minutes of arc. Webb was wearing polaroid glasses and noted that there appeared around the object a series of dark rings, the outermost of which was about six times the diameter of the central white or silvery object, or about the diameter of the full moon. The object or cloud then decreased in apparent diameter, as if it were traveling away from him, and disappeared in another few minutes. During this time Webb repeatedly took off his glasses and then put them back on, noting each time that the rings appeared only when he was wearing the glasses. He did not know what to make of the sighting, but took notes, including the fact that it was about 10 in the morning. The date was May 5,1953. One of the first things to note about the situation as described in the account is that the dark rings were observed with polaroid glasses, but not without them. The second thing is that, from the orientation of the observer relative to the position of the sun at that time of day, the blue scattered light from the part of the sky that formed the background for the object was polarized. To this fortunate circumstance we must add the fact that Mr. Webb was curious about clouds, the effect of viewing them with polarized light, and took notes of what he observed. He did not, however, realize that he was observing the rotation of the plane of polarization of the blue light in the vicinity of the object. This was the interpretation I made some 8 years later upon reading his account.

Mr. Wydler:
How would you define UFO's as you are using it in this paper before us?

Dr. Harder:
I don't know how I could define it without being circular.

Mr. Wydler:
That is the conclusion to which I came. You state on the very first page or you more or less say you are going to tacitly assume the reality of UFO's, merely an "unidentified flying object." I think we can assume their reality without worrying much about it. It is only if they have some particular interplanetary significance that might become a real problem, the way we look at it, isn't that so? We all agree there are unidentified flying objects. I think you are defining them as interplanetary. I don't see you really come out and say that, but I think you hinted at it.

Dr. Harder:
Well, if my interpretation of these rings is correct, it is certainly nothing we have been able to accomplish on earth.

Mr. Wydler:
Are you saying, when you use this term, for the purposes of your statement, in your testimony, you are assuming they are of an interplanetary nature?

Dr. Harder:
Yes, that is right.

Mr. Wydler:
All right.

Dr. Harder:
In my statement, which is available to the transcriber, I have gone through a little bit of argument suggesting why the outer of the three rings represents light that had been rotated through 90 degrees, so it would not pass through the polarizer, if it is polarized glasses. The next ring represented light that had been rotated 90 plus 180 degrees. If you have polaroid glasses and look at the right part of the blue sky, any afternoon, you can seen that the light is polarized, and as you rotate your polaroid glasses there is an alternate darkening-lightening, as you go through 180 degrees.

We can assume, to begin with, that the plane of the polarizer in his glasses was parallel to the plane of the undisturbed polarized light from the general direction of the object. If then something affected the light so as to turn its plane of polarization through 90 degrees, the portion that had been originally polarized would not pass through the glasses. Likewise, for light that had had its plane of polarization turned through 90 plus 180 degrees, 90 plus 360 degrees, and so on, there would be a partial extinction of light.

On this basis, the outer dark ring was due to the rejection by the polarizing filter of the glasses of light which had had its plane of polarization turned through 90 degrees, the next outermost band by light that had been turned through 27O degrees, et cetera.

This interpretation is strengthened by Webb's observation that the dark rings were narrower than the brighter areas between them; this is what should be expected on the basis of the above explanation.

What hypotheses can be constructed that might account for this unusual observation? There are at least two that have interesting implications for the propulsion problem. First by the Faraday effect, a magnetic field parallel to the path of the light could so rotate the plane of polarization. A quick calculation using the properties of the atmosphere shows that a field of 200,000 gauss, operating over a distance of 130 feet -- 40 meters -- could turn the plane 90 degrees; this is indeed a very intense and extensive magnetic field and, of course, would only account for one ring. Three rings would require a million gauss over the same distance.

We have been able to achieve these field strengths in the laboratory for only fractions of seconds over very small distances. However, the principal argument against this hypothesis is the conclusion that were such a field brought at all close to the surface of the earth its effect would be to induce very strong remnant magnetism in nearly every piece of iron within several hundred yards. This has not been found.

We have been able to achieve that kind of field strength for fractions of seconds only over short distances on earth, or at least we, on earth. [sic] [NCAS Editor's note: apparent severe garble in the transcription]

However, there has been a suggestion made earlier that a very strong magnetic field might so saturate certain iron cores of electrical machinery as to explain some of the observed phenomena of electrical malfunctioning.

Despite the above-described observation, there is little reason to believe that magnetic fields, of themselves could be of much use in propelling a spacecraft, although there has been much uninformed speculation about this in popular UFO publications. The simple reason is that we cannot produce a north pole without at the same time producing a south pole. Tills is a consequence of fundamental theory. Such a dipole cannot exert a force in conjunction with a uniform magnetic field, such as the earth may be assumed to have in a given locality, though it can produce a force in a nonuniform field.

To go beyond the above discussion would be rather speculative, but it is just here that we find a stimulus and challenge to scientific theory. It is almost circular to say that when we find a phenomenon we understand but vaguely we have also found a means of advancing our understanding; this has been particularly true in astronomy.

Concerning the propulsion of UFO's, a tentative hypothesis would be that it is connected with an application of gravitational fields that we do not understand.

Gravitation remains one of the enigmas of modern science, although there have been some advances in its understanding, beyond general relativity, in the past decade. There are theoretical grounds for believing there must exist a second gravitational field, corresponding to the magnetic field in electromagnetic theory, and that the interaction between these two fields must be similar to that between the electric and magnetic fields.

This interaction and its exploitation forms the basis for our modern electrical generators and motors. Without the interaction, we would be back to the days of electrostatic attraction and of permanent magnets -- two phenomena that can produce only very weak forces when operating individually. Some day perhaps we will learn enough to apply gravitational forces in the same way we have learned to apply electromagnetic forces. This will depend upon advances in many fields of science. Some of the things required will be enormously increased sources of power from atomic fusion; very intense magnetic fields and current densities, perhaps from superconducting sources; and extremely strong materials to contain mechanical forces. Some of these advances are approaching, or are on the horizon. Others we have yet to see clearly.

May I close this part of our discussion by recalling the statement that the most important secret of the atomic bomb was that it worked. This gave the crucial impetus to other nations in their own efforts to duplicate the research of the United States. In the UFO phenomena we have demonstrations of scientific secrets we do not know ourselves. It would be a mistake, it seems to me, to ignore their existence.


Here is the NICAP report on the Wells Alan Webb incident.

For information about MADAR and how to participate in the Project or order a device, go to:

Fran Ridge
MADAR Operations Center